Microsoft Plans to Acquire Softricity. What does this mean to Citrix?

At the WinHEC conference yesterday, Microsoft announced that they are planning to acquire Softricity. The press release was light on details, so I spoke to people from Microsoft and Citrix about this announcement.

At the WinHEC conference yesterday, Microsoft announced that they are planning to acquire Softricity. The press release was light on details, so I spoke to people from Microsoft and Citrix about this announcement. In this article, we’ll look at what’s included in the deal and what this means to the industry.

First of all, Softricity is a software company that makes application virtualization software. This software virtualizes the Windows layer that’s presented to an application so that multiple non-compatible applications can run side-by-side on a single computer, each with their own virtualized registry, file system, administrative access, services, DCOM, etc. (For the full details of Softricity, their products, and their technologies, listen to my podcast from a few weeks ago with David Greschler, one of the co-founders or Softricity.)

The announcement that Microsoft made was that they intend to acquire Softricity, not that they have acquired Softricity. They have to go through their due diligence process which has historically taken a month or two. What this means is that in the meantime, it’s business as usual.

Why did Microsoft acquire Softricity?

According to Alex Balcanquall, a Technical Product Manager for Terminal Services at Microsoft, it was for three reasons:

  • It compliments their overall virtualization strategy by bringing more virtualization technologies into their portfolio.
  • It helps lower client TCO by allowing applications to run on client workstations with less administrative work, deployment effort, and testing.
  • It helps lower Terminal Server TCO by allowing more application to be served from single servers, thereby reducing wasted overhead associated with building server silos and lessening the amount of time to deploy new and updated applications.

Of course it’s far too early to know what Microsoft will do in terms of price, availability, or licensing strategies. One complexity to this is that Softricity licenses their server products based on concurrent user, and Microsoft licenses their products based on named users, so something is going to have to change.

Softricity will also be great in the Terminal Server space for consolidation. While x64 will help facilitate consolidation since people will be able to build larger servers to support more users, x64 is still probably a few years away from being mainstream. Softricity will let people put all their apps on all their servers, thereby reducing the “n+1” redundancy that was previously required at each silo level. According to Softricity, this could reduce server counts by 30-40%.

What does this mean for Citrix?

Right of the bat, let me say that Microsoft acquiring Softricity affects Citrix in a good way. Softricity was a partner of Citrix and was used in many environments. In fact, if I had my way, Softricity would be used in every Citrix environment. Therefore Microsoft buying Softricity is a great thing!

The potential rub to Citrix was that they have been developing their own technology to compete with Softricity via something they’re calling “Project Tarpon.” This project, demonstrated at both iForum and BriForum, is streaming technology that can stream applications to desktop workstations or Citrix Presentation Servers. (Read my technical analysis of Tarpon) While not as sophisticated as Softricity, (a “v1” versus a “v4” product), Tarpon nonetheless offers promise and potential wide adoption if Citrix chooses to bundle it into their core Presentation Server product line.

What will Citrix do now that Microsoft is going to buy Softricity? “Tarpon will go out as planned,” says Bill Carovano, Citrix’s Director of Technical Marketing and Competitive Intelligence for the group that’s building it.

Personally, I think that this may cause a slight shift in how Tarpon is presented to the market. I don’t know whether Tarpon for desktops will ever see the light of day, but I do see value in Tarpon for deploying applications to Citrix Presentation Servers. In my mind, Tarpon is sort of the “next gen” edition and merger of both IM (Installation Management, Citrix’s app deployment technology for Presentation Server), and AIE (Application Isolation Environments, Citrix’s technology that virtualizes the registry and file system of a Presentation Server so that some “bad” apps can be installed side-by-side on the same server.)

The bottom line is that my views about Microsoft acquiring Softricity differ than many others I’ve been reading over the past 24 hours. I love using Softricity in Citrix environments, and if Microsoft helps bring this to the masses, then that can be nothing but good for Citrix in the long run.

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In my opinion, Microsoft would be the winner of an acquisition as they reach one important goal: deliver single applications to the client. This area is still dominated by Citrix' (seamless) Published Application technology, although similar things are already feasible with RDP or other SBC technologies. However, Microsoft might get in the position to accomplish this in a Virtualization Server Architecture szenario with relatively low end-user licensing costs (economies by scale), so I'm curious who gets the competitive advantage in the end...
I think this will affect Citrix in the long term.  Microsoft are now going to have a full offering from front to back with the recent SSL VPN purchase too.  Now they have app streaming and a secure deployment environment.  Who's next ThinPrint????

If Microsoft end up bundling all this technology in to longhorn, if I was Citrix i'd be getting a little nervous..
Hi Brian,
You mentioned a couple of times that this is good news for Citrix, but you didn't really expand on why it is such good news. It sounds like this is good news for existing Citrix architects, admins, engineers and the like, but is it actually good news to Citrix the company in the long run?
Thanks for any insight.
Jeff Rohrer
As well, its plain to see the overall good for us people in this space, that already may have experience with application streaming and isolation technology over those that are just hearing of Softricity for the first time.  But I cant see exactly how Citrix will profit over the long term, as a significant part of their long term future is this "gamble" on Tarpon (im thinking of license updates, and keeping those already Citrix customers on the payroll). 

Its good to see that the competition is heating up, and will deliver even better products to the now larger community.
Both Terminal Services environments and Citrix's extension, Presenetation Server, have suffered for years because it has been painful to deploy applications to these environments without a lot or regression testing. Upgrades are painful and it is just downright impossible to install some apps side by side. Softricity fixes this, and prospectively, being owned by Microsoft things can only get better.
Terminal Services and Presentation Server are still a great way to make these apps available. Fat desktops are still relatively expensive to deploy and maintain, so it still makes sense to have a bunch of centralised servers from which the apps are deployed.
Additionally, in high security environments, where data must remain in the data centre, a traditional Terminal Services deployment is still the best way to go.
Add on top of this remote working from devices or across low speed networks where you cant even stream an app (remember that large parts of the world still don't have broadband!!),  Presentation Server, and the full Access Suite in general are still a pretty convincing solution.
The features of Longhorn may shorten the gap between TS and Presentation Server, but the management and integration features of Citrix products still wins for me. And remeber, Citrix isn't standing still, they have plenty more features coming down the line in project Constellation which raise the bar. Tarpon may be mildly affected by this acquisition, but if the cost is right, many customers will use the Tarpon functionality in preference to MicroTricity.
Brian you are way off base on your assessmnet on this.  It hurts Citrix in a multitude of ways.  Most glaringly
is around Tarpon.  Mark T stood on stage last year and outlined their corporate strategey, of PS, Netscaler, and
application Streaming to the desktop.  Tarpon just took a massive kick in the gut.  You can try to push Softricity around when they are a small company, but you don't bite the hand that feeds you.  MS has grander plans beyond streaming.  It's the Virtualization, part that provides the most benefit and this will be built into the OS.  So why do I need AIE on the desktop.  Secondly, beyond remote access, Citrix is used for central management of applications, troublesome apps, multiversion of apps, and easier management.  This in the long run will dilute the value of Presentation server.  If you told me,  I could have central deployment, central management, zero applications issues, local processing, and a heck of alot less servers, to me it is a no brainer.  If I was Citrix, I would be very concerned that MS just killed a major access strategy, and may dilute my value.

Just my 2 cents
I think that is the key question regarding this purchase.  Did Microsoft want the product, or did they want the technology? 
Microsoft indicated this week that they intend to continue the product.  Also telling is that although the "intent to purchase" was announced as part of virtualization, where on the Microsoft site do you find information about the purchase (other than the press release)?  On the SMS page.  This is very good news as Microsoft tends to be a bit, shall we say feudal, in their organization structure.  By that I mean that a deal like this happens because an MS VP makes a business case for a specific purpose.  Contination of the zero-touch initiative in relation to SMS as a primary focus of the purchase means that SoftGrid continues to live as a product.  So on the surface this looks like a good deal for current customers.
On the other hand, I really believe that the value to Microsoft is the technology - in pieces.  SystemGuard (the application virtualization engine) is valuable both in virtualization and application compatibility.  Streaming has application in a .net rich web enabled world (off-loading web servers).  Finally, the hidden gem may just be the Softricity file system - a unique patented remote sparse matrix file system implementation - which could have implications to both Sharepoint and ozzievision-live.
Time will tell...
It seems most people here don't understand. We're all wildly speculating, but not much reason is being used.

I've always seen "Project Tarpon" as more like a side project by Citrix. Surely their aim was just to undercut/edge-cut a disruptive technology from a smaller company. From the marketing and technology front, their push on "Project Tarpon" was likely nothing more than an effort to slowdown market share growth using their insane enterprise leverage. More of a hedge your bets approach than any sort of key refocus, and given all the buzz around tarpon, it was bound to be somewhat successful.

Now, Microsoft holds the tech & MS plans to make it part of the platform. There couldn't be any better news for Citrix! Now they don't have to spend any money creating a competitive product from scratch, they can build on top of the platform just as they've done for years. They can now cozy-up on top of MS's base offering using their deep and warm MS relationship and deliver bonus enterprise stuff just like they've learned to do with TS.

Why would this be a worry for them? Building on top of MS has to be one of Citrix's best skills. If Citrix plays their cards right, they're now down a competitor in market-share. They've been riding the line between MS partner/competitor for so long, they're surely skatin aces by now. I won't be losing any sleep over my clients' questions here.
MS is Citrix's biggest competitor!

If I were Citrix - I would be concerned big time.
Lets hope Citrix comes out with an super 64-bit version of Presentation Server.

1) MS buys Softricity.  
Tarpon will have to be integrated in Presentation Server at no cost or it is history.
The Citrix track record with application isolation in Presentation Server is shameful. If they are using the same technology in Tarpon - would you trust it? 
2) MS buys Whale. This will compete directly with Net6/Access Gateway .
3) MS is working on their own Single-Sign-on solution in AD and Longhorn/Vista. People are not looking for a password manager product as much as they are looking for "Identity Management." People would buy a MS solution before buying a Citrix solution in this area. It has to come from the directory service/AD to make us trust it. 
4) It has been reported that MS will allow 10 terminal server sessions on Vista WS. 
Will this eliminate the need for Citrix Essentials as well as Citrix in a small environments?
5) How will MS enhance TS in Vista/Long Horn to the point of many people not needed Citrix Presentation Server?

Citrix May be the number one channel partner to MS but MS will eat her children.

Citrix had a chance to buy Softricity but decided to develop their own Tarpon.
Citrix better embrace her partners. They have been doing a good job of alienating them and not listening to them. ie. Softricity, VMWare, etc...
MS cares about two things MS amd MS customers.  Citrix better be concerned for a variety of reasons.
TS may never be the enterprise play that PS is, but the SMB market is where the next version of TS will steal
these customers.  You have to ask yourself as a customer do I need to pay $300 a seat for Load balancing in PS.
This latest news is a blow, not so much to the CAG, but Tarpon  is a dead fish floating in the sea.  Why would customers pay, or even if it is free use a product years behind if MS includes it.  CTXS missed the boat on two key technologies they could have bought, VM and Softricity.
Was this an “Independent” article or a Citrix press release?   A win for Citrix?   Brian, you use to be so good.  What happened to you?  We want the old Brian back.
What part of this specifically do you not agree with? It's easy for people to make accusations without any specifics..

And for me, how can I win? If I say something bad about Citrix, then people say I'm a jackass. If I say something good about Citrix, then I'm accused of being a shill?!?! I can't win!

But seriously... what part of this article do you not agree with? I'm not sure how I can be more clear.. Citrix + Softricity was awesome. So why wouldn't Citrix + MS Version of Softricity also be awesome?

Listen to the Softricity podcast if you haven't yet. Yes, Softricity replaces SBC in several cases if it's just about running apps on workstations. But there are many cases where you need SBC. (This is why Softricity created their Zero Touch product.. it blends Softricity + SBC. If Softricity only replaced SPB, then Zero Touch wouldn't exist.) I guess it's too bad that Citrix didn't buy Softricity several years ago, but the bottom line is that it's about managing apps, but one could argue that Softricity belongs at the platform level (with MS), not as an add-on product like Presentation Server.

listing of your site.  Your independent CITRIX, TERMINAL SERVER. SERVER BASED COMPUTING site.  This says
it all.  THat is not a bad thing, but this is what the site is about.  Softricity complemented PS, and really started to
be an alternative for PS beyond Remote Access, or Branch office support.  I see the value of both. buth if i had to think about options going forward on the two.  If it is an enterprise deployment, I think I would go with the MS/Softrcity solution, less money, less servers same value less ICA

The reality is this:
1. Citrix is Microsoft's top ISV partner, bringing in $300+ million in revenue each year with NO EFFORT WHATOSEVER.  No marketing, no overhead, no problems.  Remember, virtually every Citrix purchase is a Microsoft purchase.  Talk about a great deal.
2. Citrix signed a 5 year partnership with MS and is one of the very few partners that has direct access to the MS code, with development teams working in tandem in various locations.  Why wouldn't they have access to the Softricity and Whale VPN code now, where they couldn't have before the acquisitions?  That relationship is the sole reason why Citrix will always have the competitive advantage over any contender, and more importantly over any future version of TS.  Why do the work, when someone does it for you, and you benefit either way?
3. MS states themselves that TS is meant for small-scale environments, promoting and admitting that Citrix's technology augments their base solution even with the upcoming Longhorn version.
4. Whale is yet another MS based SSL VPN solution that would need to sit in the DMZ.  The Access Gateway is a hardened Linux appliance, which is much more secure, and it allows for any protocol or application.  Also, the Advanced Access Control capability is unique to Citrix.
5. MS Aquisition History Lesson:
- MS Terminal Server VS Citrix? Citrix wins. (Remember MS purchased the technology from Citrix during their infancy)
- MS Virtual Server VS VMWare?  VMWare wins.
- MS Whale SSL VPN VS Citrix Access Gateway?  Citrix Access Gateway wins.
- MS Softricity VS Citrix Project Tarpon?  Place your bets...
If MS can offer today's citrix features in 1-2 years with longhorn+softricty , I think Citrix will have to come out with unimaginable features to maintain its current lead in SBC.
May be it could take long time to impact citrix , but this will change the face of the citrix products.
btw, I agree that softricity is wonderful product to use with current citrix environment.
I totally agree, but this is business as usual for these two companies.

Remember, in 1998 when MetaFrame 1.0 was released, the Citrix value was higher resolution, printer mapping, clipboard sync, shadowing, client drive mapping, etc. In 2003, MS offers all of that. Is Citrix dead? Of course not. The 2003 Citrix value add was WI, load balancing, seamless windows, an SSL gateway, an application publishing. In 2007, most of this will be built into Windows. Will Citrix be dead? Of course not.

So I think this has been going on for ten years, and this is nothing different.

How come you are all talking about todays technology in a couple of years?
Just look at the trends.
- Fat clients are being replaced with thin ones.
- Desktop computing is being replaced with mobile computing
- Applications are going from the desktop to the net
Now imagine microsoft being able to provide their apps to the mobile equipment without having to install anything, without having the need for big processors and memory on these mobile devices) = SSL-VPN + Softgrid + Terminal server + ... ?)
Sounds to me like the future.
Also seeing it is MS they'll prolly add a neat little feature requiring you to get Windows Mobile 5 instead of Symbian or any other OS.
Sounds like a strategy to dominate a new platform.
Based on this article and the Whale aquisition article it seems like you are playing politics with Citrix.
Being politically correct sacrifices the truth!
Citrix and Softricity are competitors. You can see this very easily when the two talk about each other. Why would Citrix try to develop Tarpon if they were not at odds!?
In my oppinion: MS will roll over Citrix in 5 years.
History shows they did it to many others. ie Lotus, Novell,IBM.  
They are currently doing it to Oracle, Norton, MacAfee, Citrix, and others.
If I were Citrix  - I would develop Presentation Server for Linux where you can eliminate the costs for the OS and the dependence on MS. I know Brian wrote an article on this at one time mentioning the possibility. You would only be paying for the Citrix licenses. OS free, Application software free....They could start a real paradigm shift.
Citrix thinks they are MS. This is their attitude when dealing with partners. They love to dictate and really don't care about anyone but Citrix. Citrix better embrace her partners, customers and alliances. Their attitude of being God sucks! This culture comes from the top. Are you listening Mark Templeton?
It is absolutely true that Microsoft respects the Citrix partnership because they could have released an own enterprise Terminalserver product with PS4-like features long ago, they have all internal competencies to do this... could invent an own ica protocol and so on... they brought all other kinds of servers to the market in the past years, why not a Windows application serving solution?
So the question is: which alternative is paying best? (this is always the question) - Apparently, respecting Citrix' position & partnership....
Maybe Citrix is the next acquisition...

Hi Anonymous,

I value your opinion. However, I take offense at being accused of being politically correct! If I've done anything over the past three years, it's shown that I share my own thoughts, uncontaminated by vendor pressure.

So, if you disagree with me, that's fine (and encouraged)! However, I want you to disagree on the basis of what I'm saying. Don't disagree because you think that I'm being controlled by a vendor.

I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Templeton a few weeks ago and advised him that I felt it was a no brainer for Microsoft to buy Softricity as app virtualization was now associated with the desktop management space. He made it clear that the future of Citrix remains with "access" and Tarpon  is not a large concern (makes a lot of sense based on how long they have been working on it!) The web is where it's at and the Gateways division is where Citrix will grow.
I agree that this purchase can only be a good thing for Citrix implementations. Over time I expect to see MS simply incorporate the technology into SMS. Buy the SMS Client and you can push virtualized applications. Makes a lot of sense to me.
As someone else has said - "We want the old Brian back."
I do not think you are being controlled by Citrix.
I do think you are being influenced by them.
Perhaps you do not want to irritate or agrivate your relationship with them. It just seems like you are trying to get in good graces with them and therefore are being a bit biased/influenced.
This is what it looks like from my the way....we are all influenced in someway by you may or may not be as pure as you think.
MS has already announced a "sea change" in their dircection last fall.  Citrix is standing in the way of it's vision for the future.  They will no longer hold back development on account of Citrix.  Citrix will be pushed aside.  MS knows the way apps are delivered/used is about to change.  How in the world can that be good for Citrix? 
I have to say I give Brian Madden a thumbs up for giving his personal opinion.We are all entitled to our opinion and Brian is one of the best independent non bias nor vendor aligned independent analyst in the business. I have read what Brian has been saying for years and he sees things for what they really are good or bad. I respect his opinion on all his topics and articles whether I agree or disagree with him.

 I think it is an insult to Brian for anyone thinking otherwise that he is trying to get in anyones good books.
He is a man I gladly have met once and really is in touch with the SBC industry. he might have funny hair cuts but hey whos perfect eh Brian :).


An Irish Leprechaun
This is a response to Brian and to all those reading this "Reality" thread that I have started.
Brian is amazing.
I value Brian's oppinions and his perspective.
I enjoy this web site and the DABCC web site above all the Citrix related web sites for perspective, reference, and learning technology.
I certainly do not want to discourage you from doing what you are doing Brian.
I wanted to share this to keep my comments in perspective.
Friends can debate and discuss and still be friends.
I for one want to thank you for all you do and hold you in high regards!!! 
Still anonomous because big brother Citrix is listening.
I have been working for Citrix for a few years now, and based on a conversation I had with Brian at an iForum many years ago, I too thought he was a jackass (sorry Brian!!).
However, no-one in the intervening years has done more to promote the topic of 'server based computing' than Brian. 
Brian has focussed the attention of all the top minds in the industry, brought them together, and built a forum from which we can all benefit.
Brian seems to understand that we don't just want marketing bluster, but real world technical information, goes out there and gets it and makes it available to all.
Most of the customers I visit.....which web site do they visit on a daily basis to get the industry buzz.....
Which web site do I visit on a daily basis?
BriForum....not been myself....but say no more !!
Who cares whether Brians opinions are biased one way or another....if you're not smart enough to use the information he presents to build your own opinion, then I'd have to use that word 'jackass' again.
Keep up the good work Brian.
I agree, doesn't anyone else find this site's positive spin on anything Citrix Maddening... I get the impression it would find a way to say that a sighting of the three horses of the apocalypse was good for them too! Film at 11...
Do you honestly think that I spin anything Citrix in a positive way? I mean have you read what I've been writing over the past few months? I just recently posted an article that said that Citrix AIE sucks when compared to Softricity. Is that positive? I mean geez.. that article is still on our home page? I got calls from people at Citrix saying that article wasn't fair.. That was as recent at two weeks ago? (For the record, I stand by that article and think it's fair.)

Of course no one accused me of writing only good things back then.

The bottom line is that there have been three major acquisitions in this industry over the past two weeks. I've shared my honest feelings about them all. I think this is a great discussion, and it's interesting to read about the opinions that differ. A lot of people don't agree with me, and that's cool.. Time will tell.

I guess as long as some of my articles are perceived as bashing Citrix, and some are perceived as me kissing their ass, I'm doing okay, eh?

This was forwarded to me from a Softricity employee who used to work for Citrix.
Here are several commentaries from different industry sources.
Credit Suisse:
Doug Brown:
Brian Madden:
Do you think everyone is going to agree with you?
Do not worry about defending yourself.
Everyone is entitled to their oppinion.
Thank-you for your service.
Great summary! I hadn't seen some of these.

I don't care whether people agree with me.. I just want people to know that my views are pure.
If MS charges a nomunal fee, or begins to bake it onto the OS and server, why do I need tarpon for streaming.
Altiris SVS and Citrix Tarpon are direct casulaties of this purchase.  Mark my words, if Citrix is smart they won't try to compete head to head they will lose.  Softricity is light years better than Tarpon, and MS will step all over Citrix.
By saying your views are pure, do you mean your views are "The True Light", unbiased/unaffected by relatioships with people in the industry? Or are you simply stating that you don't play politics (aka accept bribes ;) ?

I'm assuming its the latter, as the first, as any existentialist snob would tell you, is just a no-no... And you don't really come across being that arrogant... ;) Hehe just buggin...

But more on topic, what I'm wondering is whether Microsoft have any plans on purchasing Ardence for their OS streaming, and incorporating that into their SMS, and now newly announced virtualization plans - for example, streaming VM images in their self-serve provisioning (see the Bob Muglia WinHEC 2006 Keynote for info/demos - ) or perhaps even using the technology to implement something similar to VMotion, found in VMware's VirtualCenter/ESX Server combo? Now, Bob Muglia did mention very vaguely that they're already working to VMotion-like functionality, but I'm wondering if Ardence's OS streaming technology is something Microsoft will be after in the near future, whether that be through another acquisition or via their own development efforts...

VMotion-type thing & hardware virtualization aside, I'm wondering whether OS streaming would be of benefit in large TS/Citrix environments that require quick turnaround for adding additional TS/Citrix servers to support a sudden increase in users, say, due to frequent acquisitions or mergers? And if this is indeed a benefit, then would Citrix not be also interested in Microsoft adding this technology to its toolbelt to beef up its core offerring so that Citrix can ride the wave and reap the benefits?

Tom S.
1. Microsoft makes almost all it money from operating systems (Vista)
2. Users use applications not operating systems
3. Applications don't run well in Vista (<-wait application upgrade (1-3 year)?)
4. Upgrade now to Vista and run your current applications with Softgrid
What do you think MS want?

I'm wondering why Citrix didn't buy Softricity. I know they have Tarpon, but this would have given them a stranglehold in this space.
Sorry if this was already mentioned, just perused through all of the new posts, didn't read them in depth.
- Jeff
Citrix tried but the companies could not come to an agreement.
Point #3 is based on betas, yea, that's what I trust :)
Your missing the big picture here and how this all affects VMWare.  Forget virtualizing the OS anymore, virtualize everything within the OS.  This buy is huge and I think most of you are really missing what is happening here.
I agree that VMware has more to worry about, not Citrix. 
Agree. If Softricity/MS extend their virtualization technologies to server apps (and rumours say they already did), imagine the impact. Rather than dynamically provision a full OS, just stream your virtual sql for example.
Maybe vmware should think about buying thinstall... :)
hold on the horses Citrites !
We all know Brian is not controled by CTXS nor MSFT...

keep up the good job and I have to tell that I share the opinion of several here on why didn't Citrix buy Softricity some time ago...
sometime I have trouble to understand MarkT and his guys...
Regarding Ardence, I do think that Ardence + Softricity is a pretty sweet solution, so the same would carry forward if MS bought Ardence. Ardence was the company that originally wrote NT Embedded (which is now XP Embedded), so the two companies do have a tight relationship. The only problem is that the disk block / OS streaming stuff from Ardence is only a small part of what they do, and the other stuff isn't that relevant to MS, so that could put a damper on the deal... but then again, if the technology is strong enough, then I guess that could carry a deal through.
Definitely a good thought Tom...
As a long time Citrix admin and I've pushed Citrix hard at many places without monetary reasons..  Softricity is huge for MS and will have an effect on Citrix. 

This is not good news for Citrix down the road, its like the old Novell vs Microsoft.. people predicts that Windows would not put a dent into Novell because it was too robust and good.. but eventually people use Windows because it is cheaper and easier to support.

There are many customer sites that can benefit from Softricity without needing to pay the huge cost penalty of doing a Citrix App deployment stategy.

The biggest cost for Citrix customers is not licensing, it is complexity costs associated with deployment of Citrix.

When I scoped out a Softricity solution, our costs would drop by atleast 2/3 mainly because we didn't need to spend a whole lot of time packaging, testing, and having a bunch of "Citrix hopefuls" IT people running around and still can't get a Citrix image to work or a proper flex profile.

With Softricity you eliminate most of these complexities and solves almost all the Citrix problems such as printing, application isolation, and the only issue left is bandwidth and compatibility which is much smaller problem.

I think you are the first person who has ever said you don't spend a lot of time packaging and testing with softricity.  Everyone I have ever dealt with who has deployed Softricity says that those two things are the biggest and most time consuming parts of the process and if not done correctly can break a deployment.
Citrix and TS was designed to to be used over low bandwidth connections and, let's be honest, softricity is not.  I think the problem that most people have is that they see this as an all or nothing thing.  A great solution is to use Softricity and Citrix together.  You get the best of both worlds. 
I must say that your experience sounds really really bad and I would say that your bad experience is not the norm.  yes there are problems but there are problems with every single piece of software even softricity.
ORIGINAL: Jeff Pitsch

I think you are the first person who has ever said you don't spend a lot of time packaging and testing with softricity.  Everyone I have ever dealt with who has deployed Softricity says that those two things are the biggest and most time consuming parts of the process and if not done correctly can break a deployment.

Citrix and TS was designed to to be used over low bandwidth connections and, let's be honest, softricity is not.  I think the problem that most people have is that they see this as an all or nothing thing.  A great solution is to use Softricity and Citrix together.  You get the best of both worlds. 

I must say that your experience sounds really really bad and I would say that your bad experience is not the norm.  yes there are problems but there are problems with every single piece of software even softricity.

Yes, I am speaking from a high level perspective.  In many large organizations, you have many groups of engineers that are paid a lot of money just to package, test, and repeat for multiple platforms/environments, there are lots of political and technical issues.  You can reduce this inefficiency by developing for one standard platform and to do so without breaking or changing things is to deploy Softricity layer into the mix.  We saw a tremendous amount of productivity gains simply by moving into Softricity and away from traditional application packaging/testing.

Every solution needs work and Softricity is no different but it creates the only uniformity that can coexist in different environments and cross many dept politics as well.
Softricity needs to be sequenced for different environments.  It sounds like Softricity forced your to redo your ineffecient processes vs Softricity actually making life easier.  Softricity is not a Presentation Server replacement just like Linux is not a Windows replacement.  There are situations where you may replace on with the other but to sit there and say that each one can be completely thrown out for the other is simply not true.
OK so it depends on the applications and your users.  Where I can see Softricity/Tarpon's strength is for Local Area network users that leave their desktops on all the time so that the apps are copied down locally or streamed down.  However this kind of scenario would not work for remote users as to copy or stream an app down requires significant bandwidth nevermind the size of the pipe that a coprporate would need to purchase for say 500 remote users.  Citrix is great for remote users so I believe that if Citrix get it right they will have a solution for both local and remote users offering the best possible performance for everyone.  I guess you could just use Softricity rather than Tarpon but either way you would still need a thin remote solution that is not heavy on the download and bandwidth.  Or am i missing the point here??
No your not missing the point.  Unfortunately, from what I've seen, people tend to view things as black and white.  In this case, it's they pick either Softricity or they pick Citrix.  Unfortunately, in the real world, one solution never fits all.  The best solution is to pick the best solution for the job.  Your right softricity on a LAN is awesome and even in some cases for remote users.  Citrix, pound for pound, is the right solution for remote users and in some cases LAN as well.  You can even use the two together.  Softrictiy streams tot he terminal servers and users access the apps through terminal services.
I've always liked the idea of using Softricity to stream to terminal servers.  That way in theory, you could run any app on a terminal server.  Then if your like me, you could setup your own datacenter and host all the apps of small businesses that outsource their IT. 
Problem is in the past MS have provided a basic service and allowed 3rd party vendors to build on top. With Softricity already mostly there in terms of functionality and coupled with the power of SMS/System Center, how much space has MS left for Citrix to build on top. In my view, there isnt much!
Kind regards
It may be coincidence or a due correction in the market for Citrix Stock.
Since the "MS buying Softricity" announcement - Citrix stock has dropped about 10%.
I see this being a question of delivery.  Yes Softricity is deployed with SMS, etc but how about remote users and environments using Web Interface/CAG solutions to deliver the application without having to pre deploy to identified machines.  I understand Softricity will stream so no need to deploy but With a combination of Citrix and the Tarpon technology I may end up with a PN Agent or Web Interface environment that publishes hosted applications as well as streamed applications from one source.  I see Tarpon still having a good fit and a fight worth the fighting.
Just my 2 cents, take it for what it is worth...
Dan Dillman
Actually, Ardence did not write NT Embedded first. Netier wrote this back in 1999 and put it on their thin clients. Wyse eventually bought Netier and Microsoft developed NT Embedded. Ardence might have wrote that version for Microsoft, but Netier was the first with a 20MB image of NT.
Nope.  You are wrong.  MS created NT, Ardence created a tool to Embed NT, and Netier used an NT embedded image created with Ardence's tools.  Later MS bought the tools and called it NT Embedded